HONG KONG å- In their continued support for the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association (HKAOA), which
represents Cathay Pacificå‘s 1600 pilots, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations (IFALPA)
today announced that it is reissuing its current ban on Cathay Pacific pilot recruitment. The reissue comes in
response to Cathay Pacificå‘s announcement that it would be hiring 1,300 new employees.
In addition to IFALPA’s response of reissuing the recruitment ban after hearing the news of Cathay’s desire
to recruit 235 pilots in the next 18 months, in May the HKAOA placed advertisements in leading aviation
industry magazines and newspapers read in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada, the
USA, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, reminding pilots who are job hunting about the recruitment
ban. The publications included Flight International, NZ Aviation News, Pacific Wings, Wings (in Canadian),
SA Flyer, pilotcareercentre.com, Aero Africa, and the Australian newspaper.
“The ban on pilot recruitment has been an effective tool in keeping professional pilots from accepting jobs at
Cathay Pacific,” said Captain Ted Murphy, President of IFALPA. “Pilots are looking to join a company which
can provide them with a life-long career investment. At the moment Cathay Pacific’s pilots are effectively on
a contract that lasts only 3 months. Once they learn about the ongoing attempts to bust the union by
Cathay management, they decide they would rather wait for an opening at an airline that values proper
labour relations and safeguards basic employee protections.”
The recruitment ban, which was originally passed by IFALPA on 13 th July 2001, was enacted in response to
Cathay Pacific management’s firing of 51 pilots without just cause and due process in July 2001. The HKAOA
has been supporting these 51 pilots since 9 th October 2001.
The recruitment ban means that any new pilot that is hired after 8 th October 2001 will be ineligible to
become a member of the HKAOA for life. Also, pilots who ignore the recruitment ban will not be provided
support by the HKAOA in any circumstances where it normally acts on behalf of pilots including, accident
and incident investigations, legal proceedings in foreign counties, and discipline or grievance procedures.
“A recruitment ban issued by IFALPA is highly respected by professional pilots the world over, and ensures
that they are fully aware of the fractious corporate culture and poor industrial relations at Cathay Pacific.
Management are well aware that they are not able to attract the best pilots committed to a long-term
career, while the current dispute persists,” said John Findlay, General Secretary of the HKAOA.
“The recruitment of replacement pilots by the Company is further damaging an already tenuous relationship
with its pilots. If they need to hire pilots, I know of the 51 most qualified candidates who are ready to go
back to work tomorrow. If they take us up on this offer we would be happy to lobby IFALPA to remove the
recruitment ban,” he added.
The HKAOA has asked David Turnbull, CEO of Cathay Pacific, on numerous occasions to discuss the unfair
dismissals of pilots, as well as outstanding issues on safer scheduling practices, fair pay and benefits, and
other standards that are currently lower than other major airlines. In the latest chapter of this nine-year dispute, Mr Turnbull rejected the HKAOA’s proposal to find an independent mediator to help both parties
move beyond the current impasse.
About HKAOA: Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association (HKAOA) was established in 1963 to represent the interests of pilots
and flight engineers employed by Cathay Pacific Airways. Its objectives are to protect and further the
interests of the aircrew profession and to safeguard and improve the interests and rights of members of the
Association. HKAOA is the representative group for the 1,600 pilots of Cathay Pacific Airways.
HKAOA is represented internationally by the Hong Kong Airline Pilots’ Association (HKALPA), a member of
the International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA)